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Padded / Soft Cover 3-Ring Notebooks

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Posted 10/21/2021   10:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
requires application of neatsfoot oil


Wow!
not heard of that name, since my apprenticeship, I thus just went on a nostalgia trip.
Neatsfoot oil, is used on grinding blocks for sharpening chisels, et al. It floats away the metal particles.




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Posted 10/21/2021   11:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This quickly became a discussion of how to test paper for acid/alkaline qualities but the original question was about finding a suitable binder to supplement Scott International binders. While pH is certainly something to pay attention to, the binder question is not getting answered. Here are my thoughts.

I do not use 3-ring binders for any parts of my collection, though I know many collectors do, especially those at the more "thrifty end" of stamp collecting. Three-ring binders look cheap to me which is why I don't mount my hard-earned collection on notebook paper or any other 8.5 x 11" paper. I want my stamps displayed as well as possible, so I want albums with some elegance to them. I may not be rich, but my collection can look like I might be. My albums of choice are Scott Specialty and International albums which are the less expensive of all the major albums. I chose these after trying many other albums, Lighthouse, Davo, Schaubek, and others partly because they were less than half the cost of the others in most cases, but also because they look good. I value being thrifty just as I want my collection to look good.

There are many excellent, high-quality albums out there, but cheap albums/binders for stamp collections that are good albums/binders are not easy to find. In search of cheap solutions, a lot of collectors migrate to Amazon or their local office supply store. This is where, I think, they go wrong. They may not even know there are other options.

Just about the only good-looking non-stamp album (office supply store) 3-ring binders I know of are the "We-R-Memory Keepers" binders sold on Amazon or the 3-ring binders Amos Advantage sells. They have a "regular" binder that's among the best looking of all, much better than what you'll get at office supply stores. No slipcase is available for either of them, unfortunately. I always use slipcases to protect my collection. I'm thrifty, but I want to protect my stamps.

My point is that not only are cheap methods of storing your collection risky -- hence this discussion about pH testing -- but they also may not look so good. Like I say, your collection doesn't have to look like you're being thrifty if you find good-looking ways to house it.

I have to assume that publishers of most popular stamp albums have made some effort to make them unharmful to the collections we put in them. My main hesitation with these is album binders made of vinyl since I've seen many kinds of plastics degrade badly. I've never seen cloth or whatever paper Scott covers their binders with degrade badly. If they did, very old Scott (or other) albums would be noticeably bad for stamps. They aren't. I've owned some 100 year old Scott albums that have perfectly intact covers. It's the pages I worry a lot more about, and paper does degrade. Of course, by that point (2121!) most of our collection are likely to have been transferred by subsequent owners to other albums more than once. If I knew my collection had to survive in excellent shape for centuries, I'd probably give up collecting because I couldn't possibly afford the materials necessary to house a collection safely for that long. If my collection survives for half a century, I'll be pretty satisfied. Nevertheless, I've seen many 100-year old collections that are perfectly fine, so I'm aware but not particularly worried.

As for which binders to use, when I do use ring binders I use 22-ring binders. These are widely used in Europe and the UK and they look much more classic than schoolboy 3-ring binders. Prinz in the UK sells some as do other sellers like Dauwalders Stamp Shop. If you must use ring binders, they would be my first suggestion since they look so good. And paper is easily available for them, blank or quadrille whichever you prefer.

Lighthouse and other album makers also make ring binders with various numbers of rings (or posts), but you must use their proprietary pages punched for those binders. For Schaubek ring binders, you'll need 6-hole pages and only Schaubek sell them. They are very good pages, by they way, as are Lighthouse blank pages and Davo and so on. I bought stacks of blank pages for some Marini (Italy) binders I bought cheaply. Good paper is out there if you look.

Scott blank pages are punched for both their two-post binders and their 3-ring binders. The best looking of the three-ring binders, in my opinion, are the narrower of the two Scott ring binders. They also sell a large three-ring binder. Though thriftier because it holds more pages, its massive. To me, it looks a binder in an auto parts shop. The smaller of the two 3-ring binders Scott sells matches their other Specialty binders and may be the best choice of all. It is a stamp album binder, after all.

You say there are no "all-blank" Scott-size album pages, but there are. Subway Stamp Shop sells all-blank pages for Scott binders as does the provider of already-printed Steiner pages, though his paper is a different shade of white than Scott's:

http://www.albumpages.net/

With the latter, you choose 2-hole or 3-hole punching, but can't have both. With Subway, you get both. If that matters.

Have fun whatever you do!
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Edited by DrewM - 10/22/2021 12:16 am
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Posted 10/22/2021   03:33 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
This quickly became a discussion of how to test paper for acid/alkaline qualities…

It moved to discussing pH because acidification is also an important attribute of selecting an archival album binder.

Quote:
… I have to assume that publishers of most popular stamp albums have made some effort to make them unharmful to the collections we put in them. My main hesitation with these is album binders made of vinyl since I've seen many kinds of plastics degrade badly. I've never seen cloth or whatever paper Scott covers their binders with degrade badly. If they did, very old Scott (or other) albums would be noticeably bad for stamps. They aren't. I've owned some 100 year old Scott albums that have perfectly intact covers. It's the pages I worry a lot more about, and paper does degrade. Of course, by that point (2121!) most of our collection are likely to have been transferred by subsequent owners to other albums more than once. If I knew my collection had to survive in excellent shape for centuries, I'd probably give up collecting because I couldn't possibly afford the materials necessary to house a collection safely for that long. If my collection survives for half a century, I'll be pretty satisfied. Nevertheless, I've seen many 100-year old collections that are perfectly fine, so I'm aware but not particularly worried…

Great example of why education about pH is important. A good steward does not assume anything, they spend a few dollars and take a few minutes to test their paper, their albums, and their slipcovers. Do you really think that these manufacturers use acid free cardboard in their album binders and slipcases? And assuming that because you have seen 100 year old albums and pages in good conditions is more than a limited personal observation would be inane. They use the cheapest component materials they can get away with, see any articles or discovery on accelerated aging testing from them? If they did it, do you not think they would advertise the good results of using high quality component materials?

The point of being a good steward, and advocating good stewardship in a public forum, is that good stewardship offers added protection not only when we are around but also when we are no longer around. It is a type of insurance, giving the philatelic material we temporarily own a better chance of surviving when it passes on to others who might simply pack in some boxes and throw it into the basement. Having your philatelic material mounted on low quality paper and/or in low quality albums and slipcases can quickly turn into an acidic situation when environmental conditions are poor.

Can folks 'get away' with using paper, albums, and slipcases made with component materials that can turn acidic if they maintain great environmental conditions? Probably. But some folks seek to make fully informed purchasing decisions and that is why it is appropriate to have this discussion.
Don
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Posted 10/22/2021   09:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can someone elaborate on why testing binders for archival/ph is so important? With the exception of first and last pages, how do the contents of a binder actually come into contact with the binder? What am I missing here?
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Posted 10/22/2021   11:12 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamps (paper) constantly 'breathe', in other words paper 24/7 tries to normalize itself with the surrounding atmospheric conditions. So if the stamp moisture content is a dry 20% and the relative humidity is 65%, the paper will begin to absorb water from the surrounding air; direct contact is not needed. If the surrounding atmospheric is acidic the acids will bind to the water molecules in the atmosphere and migrate to the stamp. Think of paper/cardboard as sponges, and think of acid rain. Acids not only come from surrounding cardboard but also from external sources such sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from fossil fuel burning. And not just power plants but from things like cars and trucks; this is why storing paper in your garage can be an issue.

The above also explains why it is important to maintain a stable temperature and relative humidity (RH) and why libraries and other archives work so hard to carefully control the environmental conditions. Keep in mind that paper also expands and contracts as it tries to normalize itself with the surrounding atmospheric conditions. Constantly shrinking and growing over time causes the paper fibers to eventually break down just from the mechanical stresses.

If folks can only do one thing than maintaining a stable temperature and relative humidity (RH) is the best solution. You can get away with other 'sins' (cheap paper, sheet protectors, acidic album cardboard, etc.) for years as long as you limit the exchanging of moisture and atmospheric acids via good control of the environment. But even in this situation I would also recommend periodic testing and not just assuming that everything is fine. Testing is not costly and being informed, at a minimum, will help you ID potential issues before toning and real damage takes hold.

Using costly archival materials gives you more margin of error with the environmental control. But just like not buying insurance, some folks may be willing to take risks; my intent is not to scare anyone nor am I passing any judgements. If folks are making informed decision when investing in storage solutions, then all is good.
Don
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Posted 10/22/2021   4:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice and clear explanation, Don. Thanks.

Basil
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Posted 10/25/2021   09:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add APS-ISWSC Member to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don, et al, thanks for the reminder about pH, hadn't occurred to me re: leather.
rogdcam, jconey, chipg, GeoffHa, thanks for the info on Rustico, Wilson-Jones, Exposures and others, VERY nice, too much $ for me.
Germania, thanks for reminding, me about Lighthouse, had completely forgotten, going with them.
Hy-Brasil, thanks, like rod222, I hadn't thought of Neatsfoot oil since I used it on the leather case for my Boy Scout axe ...
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Posted 10/25/2021   09:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are two basic kind of leather products: uncoated leather and coated leather. The coated leather usually has a colored urethane coating, To tell the difference, if you put a drop of water on the leather and it soaks in it is uncoated. For example most cars with leather seats usually are coated leather. The high end models have the uncoated leather.

Real leather requires a lot more care such as conditioning to remain supple. Coated leather care is more like vinyl. That is, no need for oils since it will just sit on surface.



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Al
Edited by angore - 10/26/2021 07:19 am
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Canada
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Posted 10/25/2021   7:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Pollux to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent discussion, the ph is very important, just like the pvc and the acids of some unsuitable plastic and paper.
I am now wondering if the plastic used to wrap post-canada souvenir sheets is really acid and pvc free ?
Do you keep these in the original packaging or do you dispose them?

Pollux
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